WSL Matchday 7 round-up: Chelsea end United's perfect start
Chelsea ended Manchester United’s perfect start to the Women’s Super League season with a 3-1 victory at Leigh Sports Village.
The Red Devils went into Sunday’s late game with five wins from five and no goals conceded, but the defending champions ran out victors.
Sam Kerr opened the scoring on the hour mark with a tidy finish after United lost possession in their own half before the Australian teed up Lauren James four minutes later.
Alessia Russo halved the deficit for the home side to ensure a nervy finish but Erin Cuthbert’s stoppage-time effort sealed the Blues’ sixth straight win in coach Emma Hayes’ absence.
General manager Paul Green said: "I think we found a way in the second half. For 15 or 20 minutes when we went 2-0 up, I thought some of the football we played was outstanding.
"I think we thoroughly deserved the win and we were congratulating the group on this period of games with Denise [Reddy] and myself in charge.
"To come through unscathed and win every game is a testament to everyone involved, players and staff, and we go into the international break hopefully ready to welcome Emma Hayes back to the touchline for our next game, if everything goes well, against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
"We're delighted and congratulating everyone on a really good piece of work.
"All of [the games] are difficult in their own way but this game and the one against Paris Saint-Germain away were two that came out and you thought 'we're going to have to be at our best and find a way to win'.
"And I think we did in the second half. We did enough and showed why we are champions of England."
It was another standout display from England international James, 21, who was on the scoresheet again after netting against Aston Villa last week.
Green added: "Lauren James is a top player. We just had to be patient and build her slowly and get her right off the pitch last season.
"Learning from senior players that we've got really helped her when she wasn't seeing much of the pitch last season.
"But this season, she's been electric. You saw it again tonight, every time she got the ball, you expected something to happen and she was the real bright spark for us. She thoroughly deserved the goal."
Gunners continue firing
Arsenal remain the only team yet to taste defeat this season as they made it six wins from six with a 4-0 victory over bottom-side Leicester.
Frida Maanum and Caitlin Ford were both on target before Stephanie Catley made it 3-0 after 37 minutes with a goal directly from a corner.
Stina Blackstenius completed a comfortable victory after the break as Jonas Eidevall’s team earned their 14th consecutive league victory.
The Gunners boss hailed the impact of Player of the Match Maanum, who grabbed her third goal in as many WSL games for the Gunners.
Eidevall said: "I am very pleased for her because she’s been working so hard behind the scenes to be able to actually achieve these things here for the team.
"That’s good for the team and it’s very good for her.
"From a coach perspective, I like to see a lot of the goals we are scoring now and you can see a pattern in the goals."
City stay in touch
Manchester City notched their fourth consecutive league win of the campaign by overcoming Reading 3-0.
It was an unfortunate afternoon for Royals captain Emma Mukandi, who scored two own goals, with Lioness Lauren Hemp heavily involved in the build-up of both.
Khadija Shaw sealed the victory for Gareth Taylor’s side, who have won their last four after starting the campaign with two successive defeats.
Villans down Liverpool
Rachel Daly scored a second-half penalty as Aston Villa beat Liverpool 1-0 at Prenton Park.
The England international made no mistake from the spot after goalkeeper Rachael Laws fouled Kirsty Hanson in the box.
It was the Villans’ first WSL victory since the second game of the season and leaves the Reds third bottom after a solitary win this term.
West Ham and Brighton play out thriller
Brighton began life without ex-boss Hope Powell by winning a nine-goal thriller against West Ham.
The former England manager stepped down from her role with the Seagulls following a humiliating 8-0 defeat by Tottenham last weekend and the South Coast outfit gave the perfect response at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Danielle Carter was twice on the scoresheet and set up another as the visitors sailed into a 5-2 lead before a late Viviane Asseyi double proved not enough for the home side.
WSL Matchday 7 results in full
Leicester 0-4 Arsenal
Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa
Reading 0-3 Manchester City
West Ham 4-5 Brighton
Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea